A selection of Climate Protection Fellows

Responsible for the contents: Dr Judith Schildt and Dr Tina-Maria Schieder (Humboldt Foundation) and the fellows

Gilbert Baase Adum

Degree: Master of Philosophy | Field: Wildlife and Range Management | Affiliation at the time of application: Save the Frogs! Ghana, Kumasi, Ghana | Host institution in Germany: Museum für Naturkunde – Leibniz-Institut für Evolutions- und Biodiversitätsforschung, Berlin | Host: PD Dr Mark-Oliver Rödel

Assessing the Responsiveness of Ghanaian Amphibians to Global Change

Gilbert Baase Adum
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Worldwide, many amphibian populations have been in continuous decline for the past four decades, often culminating in their extinction. Habitat loss and fragmentation, exacerbated by climate change are the most important proximate causes of species declines. The aim of this research project is to apply ecological niche modelling methods to gain baseline information on how Ghanaian most vulnerable species-endemic, rare and already endangered ones- are and will be faring under different global change scenarios and models. Species data will be compiled from existing collections and relevant databases, available at the Museum für Naturkunde in Berlin. Ecological niche models will establish both current and potential future range shifts for each species. The results of this project will provide the benchmark for the development of appropriate conservation measures and a country-wide framework for the monitoring of amphibians in response to global change.

Gabriel Antwi-Boasiako

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Rural Development and Natural Resources Management | Affiliation at the time of application: Sustainable Livelihood Ghana | Host institution in Germany: Universität Bonn, Zentrum für Entwicklungsforschung ZEF | Host: Dr Eike Lüdeling

Towards Climate-smart Cocoa (Theobroma cacao) Production and Sustainability in Ghana

 Gabriel Antwi-Boasiako

Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

In recent times, cocoa (Theobroma cacao) production in Ghana has experienced a major decline. Climate change is considered to have aggravated complications in reestablishment due to high rates of cocoa seedling mortality and prolonged droughts. As a rule, climate change studies in Ghana have typically indicated considerable uncertainties about the value of empirical quantities. This makes it difficult to develop future climate scenarios, which in turn indirectly causes uncertainty regarding the costs and benefits of adaptation policies.
To date, existing studies have not extensively investigated how the climate will affect cocoa in terms of physiological processes (e.g. pollination and flowering), disease abundance and pest outbreaks, weed proliferation, water use potential or the rate of (i.e. faster or slower) growth. On the other hand, since real impact projections focus on drivers of production, exploring market demand, tree rejuvenation, pests and diseases, and consumer preferences will also be critical in this case.
During his stay in Germany, Gabriel Antwi-Boasiako and his host will develop a holistic, transdisciplinary model of cocoa system dynamics that can be used for predicting the future performance of cocoa in the face of climate change. They will use Bayesian Networks, a business analysis tool, to establish a robust benchmark for reasoning under uncertainty. This tool is also capable of taking different sources of information into account, including hard data and expert opinions. Its use will help the team make realistic recommendations for future climate projections and adaptation in Ghana's cocoa sector.

Danira Baigunakova

Degree: Master of Economics | Field: Economics | Affiliation at the time of application: JSC Zhasyl Damu, Astana, Kazakhstan | Host institution in Germany: Umweltbundesamt, Deutsche Emissionshandelsstelle, Berlin | Host: Dr Jürgen Landgrebe

Management of Allowences Reserve in Kazakhstans’s Emission Trading System

Danira Baigunakova
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Domestic emission trading systems (ETS) are one of the carbon pricing tools of reduction GHG emissions and play a major role in the development of a country’s green economies. More and more countries start thinking about the implementation of domestic ETS. Kazakhstan is the first country in Central Asia, which has already implemented ETS. But, Kazakhstan’s ETS needs improvements, especially in the management of the allowances reserve. The reserve is an additional instrument for the government, which must be well managed. This requires clear rules and criteria to articulate, in which cases the reserve is used, what volume of allowances should be distributed or removed from the market, and how the reserve also can be used to influence the current market price. One of the composing goals of the project is to conduct scenario and uncertainty analysis using the Monte Carlo approach. In this project the experience of EU ETS will be learned more deeply with focus on upcoming market reserve stability. The results of this project will be provided to the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.

Maryam Bakhshi

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Environment, Natural Resources Engineering | Affiliation at the time of application: Mona Consultants, Renewable Energy Department, Teheran, Iran | Host institution in Germany: Freie Universität Berlin, Berlin Centre for Caspian Region Studies | Host: Dr Behrooz Abdolvand

Bioenergy promotion strategies in Iran

 Maryam Bakhshi

Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Michael Jordan

Bioenergy derived from organic matter is a carbon-neutral source of energy in comparison with fossil fuels. Moreover, the decay of bio-based residues in conventional disposal systems leads to high greenhouse gas emissionsin the atmosphere which can be mitigated by energy recovery options. Iran’s large population as well as its diversity of crops and livestock provide different types of biomass resources. In spite of attempts by the Iranian government to stimulate renewable energies in the country, bioenergy development has only had limited success. Maryam Bakhshi’s research aims to evaluate Iran’s bioenergy potential. She wants to analyse different strategies to promote bioenergy and thus introduce strategies for greater use of bioenergy. Ms Bakhshi intends to propose a proper legal framework for sustainable biomass utilisation and, finally, to identify opportunities for mitigating climate change by promoting bioenergy in Iran.

Adam Ceesay

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Climate Change and Tropical Marine Ecology | Affiliation at the time of application: Université Felix Houphouet-Boigny, Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire | Host institution in Germany: Leibniz-Zentrum für Marine Tropenökologie | Host: Professor Dr Matthias Wolff

Mangrove Degradation and Socioeconomics of the Tanbi Wetland National Park, The Gambia

Adam Ceesay
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Like most countries in West Africa, The Gambia has suffered many climate-induced ecosystem changes. These are even more pronounced in the River Gambia estuary, where long-term hyper-salinity is a major contributor to mangrove degradation and fisheries decline. Located in the Sahelo-Sudanian climate zone, the River Gambia estuary suffers extensive floods during the peak rainy season as well as overwhelming salt intrusions during the peak dry season, leading to insufficient time for colonisation/succession by any given aquatic species. Conservation efforts during the past couple of decades have failed, as vulnerable coastal communities continue their daily socio-economic activities with little or even no hope for better yields. Adam Ceessay plans to use this research to assess the long-term change in mangrove vegetation and the changes in coastal micro-economies and to document local adaptation strategies of mangrove-dependent communities. This research will also provide useful recommendations for sustainable land use, as well as suggest alternative livelihoods for the major socio-economic groups in the wetland.

Aída Rocío García

Degree: Master of Arts| Field: Public Management and Environmental Studies | Affiliation at the time of application: Ministry of Economy and Finance, Lima, Peru | Host institution in Germany: adelphi, Berlin | Host: Dennis Tänzler

Setting Sound Institutional Arrangements for Efficiently Handling Climate Finance in Peru

Aída Rocío García
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Climate finance has been largely recognised as a core element in climate discussions. There are two facts related to this element: First Climate finance is growing and secondly there is growing concern about the capacities of developing countries for making efficient use of available resources. In the past few years, the amount of Climate Finance flowing to Peru has increased substantially, and it is expected that it will continue growing in the years to come. Institutions in Peru, however, are not accustomed to handling major investments and this new scenario will confront them with a significant inflow of resources. The way Peru handles those resources will shape its capacity for leveraging additional Climate Finance.
Peru therefore needs to improve its capacity for accessing, managing, executing, monitoring and reporting Climate Finance. The very first step in this direction is the establishment of ad-hoc institutional arrangements that are best suited for handling Climate Finance efficiently. The main objective of this project is to develop a proposal for such arrangements.

Thi Binh Minh Hoang

Degree: Master of Science | Field: Geography | Affiliation at the time of application: Vietnam Academy of Science and Technology (VAST), Mientrung Institute for Scientific Research (MISR), Thua Thien Hue Province, Vietnam | Host institution in Germany: Unabhängiges Institut für Umweltfragen (UfU), Berlin | Host: Dr Michael Zschiesche

Making Planning for Energy Plant in Contaminated Soil Associated with Former Military Activity in Central Vietnam

Thi Binh Minh Hoang
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

The issue of climate change impacts is extremely serious in Central Vietnam where people are still dealing with the life-and-death effects of war-era environmental contamination. In light of this, remediation activities to expand areas for agriculture, reforestation and cultivation for underprivileged people who are struggling to survive under the pressures of climate change are of strategic importance. This project will identify links between climate change and soil protection. Thi Binh Minh Hoang will combine various types of databases: topography, slope, soil types, weather zones, sprayed areas and types of spray maps, watershed maps, bomb distribution and small topography. Besides exploring the potential for localising contaminated areas, the project will look for affordable strategies by using energy crops, public education and popular perceptions in tandem with historic research to build the knowledge base in preparation of remediation projects in the future.

Huihui Liu

Degree: Master of Civil and Commercial Law | Field: Environmental Law | Affiliation at the time of application: The Supreme People’s Court of China, Environment and Resources Division, Beijing, China | Host institution in Germany: Universität Münster, Institut für Umwelt- und Planungsrecht | Host: Professor Dr Sabine Schlacke

Sino-German Comparative Study of Air Pollution Litigation

Huihui Liu
Photo: Humboldt
Foundation/
Daniela Schmitter

Clean air is essential to the health of human beings and the environment. Germany’s successful experience in connection with protecting air quality and reducing pollutants, especially as regards the role that courts and judges have played in these areas, is very helpful for China. Collecting cases and documents in Germany, comparing the criminal, civil and administrative cases involving air pollution in China and Germany, ascertaining similarities and differences between the two countries in air quality protection in judicial terms are essential for judicial work in China. Lastly, the project will promote work being done to improve the judicial rules governing air pollution from the perspective of judicial organs, and affect legislation and administrative law enforcement from the judicial perspective so that problems and experience arising in connection with judgments can be subsequently reflected in legislation and regulations.